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adStream: All those ads for app downloads — do they work?

adstream - app download 1 200w

An app-download ad in Pandora


We usually study audio ads in adStream, but when our eyes are on the screen it is impossible to ignore the steady parade of banner ads in some music services. Our observation is that direct response ads for downloading mobile apps is one of the most bought-into campaigns — on mobile streaming services, of course.

We see a lot of mobile games advertised this way, as well as apps across many other categories. Typically, the call-to-action response is touching the ad, which takes you directly to the download/install page of the Apple or Android app store.

Interestingly, TUNE released a whitepaper study of the effectiveness of app-download ads. The central question: “The goal of the study was to answer the question: for every paid install, how many organic installs can an app expect to see?” In other words, measuring the lifetime value of an app-download ad in additional lift.

tune app downloads

TUNE used anonymized data from thousands of apps — not only music apps. And the study was correlative, not causative — that means that there was no tracking of how increased organic downloads were caused by the downloads derived from the advertisements. That said, the correlation between “paid” downloads and organic downloads is impressive:

tune correlations big

In looking at this study, we are reminded of XAPP Ads, the voice-activated ad technology developed by XAPPmedia. One obvious use-case for eyes-off, hands-off direct response is the app-download ad. In that scenario, the spoken direct response could be “Download.” Getting the ad off the screen and into people’s ears would better match the inherent mobile venue of these ads.

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Brad Hill

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